Highwood becomes first Illinois city to mandate curbside organics collection

Highwood said Tuesday it will be the first city in Illinois to mandate curbside organics collection for residences and businesses.


Highwood said Tuesday it will be the first city in Illinois to mandate curbside organics collection for residences and businesses.

The Lake County city has awarded a contract to Lakeshore Recycling Services, an independent recycling and waste collection company, for residential and commercial solid-waste pickup. Commercial pickup begins Friday while the residential contract does not take effect until early 2017.

Organics collection encompasses yard waste and compostable food scraps such as fruit and vegetable-based matter, egg shells and coffee grounds. Both yard waste and food scraps can be mixed together in a new third collection bin that will be offered to each customer. Grease and fats are not compostable and should be discarded.

Residents will receive a 96-gallon recycling cart for paper, glass, plastic and metal recyclables; a 65-gallon waste cart; and a 35-gallon cart for organic matter. Bins for businesses vary in size based on each client's needs. The collected organic matter will be converted into compost.

"We realize the size and density of our community makes us a great candidate to implement an encompassing organics program like this," Highwood Management Assistant Molly Keane said. "It will require a lot of education on the city's part; we have to rethink what we consider garbage and understand where our waste goes."

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